The Mancunion is the University of Manchester Students' Union's student newspaper. It is the largest student newspaper in the United Kingdom and is distributed throughout Greater Manchester. The name is a portmanteau of Mancunian, the demonym for residents of Manchester, and union, given its role as the newspaper of the Students' Union. Past writers include film critic Mark Kermode.
The Mancunion has existed in a various forms since 1969. Student Direct was a newspaper that covered all of the universities of Greater Manchester. Over the years Student Direct began to split into its component parts, including The Mancunion and The Salfordian, the student newspaper of the University of Salford Students' Union.
The Mancunion drew national attention in 2013 when a secret recording was made during a society meeting, at which it was suggested that the Islamist speaker supported the execution of homosexuals in Britain. The controversy that arose regarded both the sensitive content of what was said, as well as the ethical questions behind such investigative reporting methods. The society in question later dissolved following the scandal.
In October 2014, British tabloid The Sun contacted UK student media outlets asking them to find photos of students wearing offensive costumes at Halloween. The Mancunion broke this story, leading to attention from national media.
The Mancunion is based within the Students' Union but retains editorial independence from it. In the past it has criticised the Students' Union and university in equal measure. As of 2015, the role of Editor-in-chief of the newspaper has been restored to a full-time salaried position after a number of years of campaigning for it to be a sabbatical position, though now as co-ordinator of the Manchester Media Group, as a sabbatical role within the Union. This involves co-ordinating the development of all Student Media within the Union, including Fuse TV and Fuse FM.
The Editorial Team of The Mancunion is structured as follows: Each section has at least one Editor, who commissions articles from student contributors, writes content themselves and sets the design of their own section each week. There are also Subeditors who proofread and check articles for inaccuracies, and a photography team. These editors are collectively co-ordinated by the Deputy Editor-in-chief and Editor-in-chief.
The Mancunion covers news occurring in the area around the University of Manchester campuses, as well as things that affect the national or international student body. It covers local cultural events and even national music festivals. Its opinion pieces focus on both local news, student issues, as well as the state of society as a whole.
The Mancunion works closely with the other student media outlets in the Union, Fuse TV and Fuse FM. This involves collaborating on projects and promoting the other outlets' work on its website and social media accounts. The Mancunion is also affiliated with the Student Publication Association.
In 1983, The Mancunion won Best Student Media and in 1987, Best College Newspaper both at the Guardian Student Media Awards.
In 1999, Merope Mills won the Feature Writer of the Year award at the Guardian Student Media Awards.
In 2001 and 2003, Student Direct won Photographer of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards. In 2003, Ravi Somaiya won Columnist of the Year.
In 2004, Stuart MacLean was runner-up for Reporter of the Year and Journalist of the Year. In the same year, Tim Hill was named runner-up for Columnist of the Year behind now-Guardian journalist Archie Bland.
In 2005, Daniel Calder was runner-up for Columnist of the Year.
In 2007, Matthew Dixon received the Sports Writer of the Year award.
In 2008, Daniel Calder was also the winner of the Diversity Writer of the Year, and in 2009 Clyde Macfarlane and Girish Gupta received winner and runner-up respectively of the Travel Writer of the Year award.
In 2010, Student Direct: The Mancunion was the runner-up for Publication of the year, behind Kingston University's The River.